Chelsea need to worry about keeping Nemanja Matic
Eden Hazard isn’t the only Chelsea star garnering interest from one of Spain’s biggest clubs. Blues’ midfielder Nemanja Matic is also drawing interest from Barcelona. The bad news for Antonio Conte is that his Serbian star seems open to a potential move.
When asked about interest from the Catalan giants, Matic openly admitted that “it feels good when you’re connected with a great club.” It was hardly a denial of interest in a move to Barcelona. In fact, it was a lot closer to a come and get me plea from the talented midfielder.
Perhaps Matic is a bit tired of reading about how N’Golo Kante has revolutionized football while playing next to him. Certainly the former Leicester star has been a revelation, but it’s been quite the bounce back season for Matic as well.
Matic has managed to notch six assists in 27 league appearances this year. His Whoscored.com player rating average of 7.03 might not blow you away, but it shows he’s been a very solid player for Conte. His steady play has allowed Kante to venture forward and take the risks necessary to play his best football.
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The good news for Chelsea fans is that Antonio Conte surely knows how good Matic has been this season. He is, after all, an expert of sorts when it comes to deep-lying midfielders. Matic certainly isn’t Andrea Pirlo, but he does remind you of the midfielders that flanked the legendary Italian for Juventus.
From the Barcelona perspective, targeting Matic seems like a smart move. While Chelsea will want to hang on to him, they won’t turn down a massive bid for his services. In short, he’s an attainable player who plays a key role on one of Europe’s top sides. His impressive title-winning pedigree will certainly appeal to the higher-ups at Barcelona.
The midfield also happens to be the La Liga club’s biggest weakness. The club really struggle to hold up against top-notch offenses with their light midfield. Adding Matic to the mix would give Barcelona’s next manager a lot more flexibility in the middle of the park.
In the end, this story screams of a move by Nemanja Matic’s representatives to put pressure on Chelsea during contract negotiations. He still has two more seasons on his current deal, but would surely like to get one more big contract before age starts to take its toll on his performance. Expect Matic to keep flirting with Barcelona until Chelsea sign him to a new contract.